Bullpups clamp down on Eaglets, Kai Sotto to win UAAP title
Olmin Leyba (Philstar.com) - February 22, 2019 - 5:39pm

MANILA, Philippines – National U-Nazareth School choked Ateneo and Kai Sotto to only two free throws in the final 5:33 to clear the way to a 64-53 triumph and mark the Bullpups' coronation as the new UAAP juniors' basketball vice the fallen Blue Eaglets Friday at a packed Filoil Flying V Center.

Putting up a stifling defense against the Season 81 MVP Sotto and his teammates, the Bullpups detonated a 14-2 bomb in the windup to complete their 2-0 sweep of the Eaglets and clinch their first title since 2016.

"Yung trinabaho ng team buong year para pursue ang dream na ito, lahat ng sakripisyo, lahat time na binuhos sulit, nakuha naman namin," said NU coach Goldwin Monteverde, whose wards ended the tournament on an 11-game streak and posted a 16-1 card overall.

Big man Carl Tamayo, who was adjudged Finals MVP, gamely took on the main task of hounding Sotto, especially in the final quarter. Sotto still finished with 26 big points and 25 rebounds but Tamayo held him down to 1-of-10 shooting in the fourth, coughing up only two charities when the Bullpups made their breakaway.

Tamayo banged in 13 markers and grabbed 10 rebounds to backstop Terrence Fortea, who topscored with 15 spiked by clutch freebies and a booming triple that gave NU a 59-51 spread with 2:31 left. Kevin Quiambao, Tamayo's alternate in guarding Sotto, chipped in eight markers and six rebounds.

The 6-foot-7 Tamayo anchored NU's strong finishing kick, his reverse layup at the 4:14 mark sparking nine unanswered points that handed the Bullpups an eight-point spread. On the other end, he stood his ground and forced Sotto to either miss, kick it out, or get stripped of possession by his teammates.

"Gusto ko lang talaga manalo, kahit ano'ng mangyari, kahit hindi ko nashoot mga tira ko, kahit ilang mintis na ako, hindi ako titigil hangga't wala yung final buzzer," said Tamayo.

NU bucked the ejection of starter Gerry Abadiano, who was banished after getting slapped his second unsportsmanlike foul of the game with three seconds left in the third.

Graduating center Geo Chiu and Fortsky Padrigao supported Sotto with eight points apiece.

The scores:

NU 64 – Fortea 15, Tamayo 13, Gonzales 10, Quiambao 8, Torres 8, Abadiano 8, Felicilda 2, Alarcon 0, Javillonar 0, Mailim 0, Buensalida 0, Dayrit 0.

Ateneo 53 – Sotto 26, Padrigao 8, Chiu 8, Fetalvero 6, Diaz 3, Espinosa 2, David 0, Jaymalin 0, De Ayre 0, Ladimo 0, Salandanan 0, Narciso 0.

Quarterscores: 18-15, 31-31, 46-45, 64-53.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with